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  1. #1
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    Default Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    I got a call today from a buyer who needed an inspection ASAP. It seems the the inspector he originally was going to use had to cancel and he got my info from his realtor whom I haven't heard from in about 1 year. I told him my closest availability was this Wednesday. I never heard back from him today so I assumed he hired somebody else. I sent an e-mail to the realtor thanking her for passing my name along even though the buyer went with another inspector. She replied back and expressed concern that the inspector her client did hire is available tomorrow and wondered how good he could be considering he was available on such short notice.

    It seems availability is a bad thing in some people's eyes.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    I don't think so. I got a call Sat night for an inspection on a new home for Sun. The agent got my name from another agent I had done inspections for. Their walk-through with the builder was Mon and they decided on Sat they needed a third opinion. I had a pre-drywall inspection Sun at 11 AM so I did the new house at 7 AM. I was available because I wanted to be...not because I was not busy.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    We got a call this morning about 10am asking for an inspection TODAY. My wife told him that I could do it tomorrow afternoon, or Thursday afternoon, but that was the first available. He went with whoever could do it today. Go figure.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    With the number of cancellations and general chaos throughout the industry I just can't see the correlation... I could see a buyer thinking that, though. Kind of like a good doctor.... it takes months to get to see him.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    I'm not as busy as some inspectors in my area. But I also charge more and am quite particular in my inspections. Those two factors can weed out some buyers and agents. I also don't mass market myself or have under the table agreements ($$$) with real estate offices. Does that cost me some business - you bet it does.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I'm not as busy as some inspectors in my area. But I also charge more and am quite particular in my inspections. Those two factors can weed out some buyers and agents. I also don't mass market myself or have under the table agreements ($$$) with real estate offices. Does that cost me some business - you bet it does.
    Eric... Your program will never weed out buyer just bad agents. I have yet to see a buyer not want a good inspection. And when they see that it may cost an extra $ 30 to $ 50 bucks Not as deal breaker.

    Best

    Ron.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Ron, Must be sensible people where you live. Around here many people have penny pinching down to an art - their only concern is cost. They'll use another inspector even if it's a matter of just $15.00 and they couldn't care less about my experience or continuing education. Of course they still expect the world of you at Walmart prices.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Ron, Must be sensible people where you live. Around here many people have penny pinching down to an art - their only concern is cost. They'll use another inspector even if it's a matter of just $15.00 and they couldn't care less about my experience or continuing education. Of course they still expect the world of you at Walmart prices.
    While of course it's not always possible, it is frequently neccessary to educate my perspective clients as to the differences between a discount inspector and myself. I usually am able to illustrate that and book the inspection, even when I am considerably higher than $15.00.

    As far as booking a "same day" inspection goes, sure why not, if I'm available.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    I see absolutely no correlation to the price of an inspection to the quality of the inspection.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    I agree, a high price can mean the inspector is real busy working for agents and rushing through to get to the next one. We have/had some of those around here.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I see absolutely no correlation to the price of an inspection to the quality of the inspection.
    Maybe or maybe not. However, a high quality inspection should cost more than a low quality inspection.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Seidner View Post
    Maybe or maybe not. However, a high quality inspection should cost more than a low quality inspection.
    Why? Some people are under the illusion that more something cost the better it is but really they are just getting overcharged.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Why? Some people are under the illusion that more something cost the better it is but really they are just getting overcharged.
    James, that's a completely different scenerio.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Seidner View Post
    James, that's a completely different scenerio.
    My point is that if I do a three hour inspection on a house I will do the same inspection for $100 that I would do for $500. The price would not affect the quality of the inspection.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Weird week. I wasn't available soon enough for one buyer but if I would have been, it would have looked suspicious to the buyer's realtor. Then somebody I did an inspection for last week on a house with a lot of moisture issues needs to change their inspection to the one day this week I can't help them so they end up canceling and going with somebody else. Then somebody I talked to yesterday was ready to book a slot with me for Monday but calls back today to say they decided not to go through with the house.

    Time to turn the calendar and move on to April.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    James,
    I would hope that you wouldn't do a 3 hour inspection for $100.

    I do believe that the inspectors that undercharge everyone else in town by half or two thirds and not giving their client a good inspection.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    My point is that if I do a three hour inspection on a house I will do the same inspection for $100 that I would do for $500. The price would not affect the quality of the inspection.
    I would never do $500.00 worth of work for less than $500.00 of consideration. The reasoning is just unsound. I do not expect to buy a gallon of gasoline for $1.00 when the cost to bring it to the fueling station is $4.95, and the retailer has to make some profit. Home inspectors who have low fees seem to fall into two groups: they are either robbing Peter to pay Paul by doing cheap inspections and making up for low fees with high volumes, or they are cutting corners in their work some other way. The reality of the current market is that overhead is not decreasing, it is increasing. Logically, inspection fees should be going up.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    Logically, inspection fees should be going up.
    Supply and Demand would dicate otherwise.

    Unfortunately for us... most buyers don't differentiate between a good and bad HI. They just need one and need it quick. 99% of buyers never think about it before they need it and rarely think about it afterwards. Those are unfortnuate confounds of the industry we all work in.

    I'm not saying it's right.... it's just reality. Many buyers are just going to but the cheapest HI they can find.... they even tell you that on the phone right up front. Luckily, there are enough folks that do realize the value of getting a good HI but my point is the "any house for $199" HI will always have a place in the market.... again, I'm not agreeing with it.... it's just reality.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Supply and Demand would dicate otherwise.

    Unfortunately for us... most buyers don't differentiate between a good and bad HI. They just need one and need it quick. 99% of buyers never think about it before they need it and rarely think about it afterwards. Those are unfortnuate confounds of the industry we all work in.

    I'm not saying it's right.... it's just reality. Many buyers are just going to but the cheapest HI they can find.... they even tell you that on the phone right up front. Luckily, there are enough folks that do realize the value of getting a good HI but my point is the "any house for $199" HI will always have a place in the market.... again, I'm not agreeing with it.... it's just reality.
    Agreed. I lost 10 inspections last week. Some due to price, others didnt want to wait.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    I would never do $500.00 worth of work for less than $500.00 of consideration. The reasoning is just unsound. I do not expect to buy a gallon of gasoline for $1.00 when the cost to bring it to the fueling station is $4.95, and the retailer has to make some profit. Home inspectors who have low fees seem to fall into two groups: they are either robbing Peter to pay Paul by doing cheap inspections and making up for low fees with high volumes, or they are cutting corners in their work some other way. The reality of the current market is that overhead is not decreasing, it is increasing. Logically, inspection fees should be going up.
    I have done several free inspections for friends and family. They did not get a bad inspection because I was not getting paid. The logic that price and quality go together makes no sense to me.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I have done several free inspections for friends and family. They did not get a bad inspection because I was not getting paid. The logic that price and quality go together makes no sense to me.
    Again James, that's a completely different scenerio. I'm sure we all have performed free or discounted inspections for our family and friends, without reducing the quality of the service.

    So let me ask you James. If the the overall quality of your service has nothing to do with your fees, what factors do you use, other than your overhead, to determine your inspection fee?


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Seidner View Post
    Again James, that's a completely different scenerio. I'm sure we all have performed free or discounted inspections for our family and friends, without reducing the quality of the service.

    So let me ask you James. If the the overall quality of your service has nothing to do with your fees, what factors do you use, other than your overhead, to determine your inspection fee?
    I'm not James but I'll chime in on this. My fee is based on things that most of us take into consideration such as my costs and specs of the house. But I also base my fee to a large extent on what the market around here will bear. Unfortunately, $10 can be the difference between working and sitting at home. I'd say first time home buyer HI fees around here are down $10-$20 from where they were in 2007 before the market collapsed.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    My point is that if I do a three hour inspection on a house I will do the same inspection for $100 that I would do for $500. The price would not affect the quality of the inspection.
    I'm sure not all inspectors can say this. Spend 3 hours on an inspection, another 1.5-2 hours on the report, factor in travel time, gas, and other expenses. I'd feel like a schmuck knowing my take home from that $100 is only about $60-$70.

    I did some relocation inspections when I got started inspecting. I was new to the profession and welcomed the work and experience (and the money helped pay for baby formula). Since then, I've seen some relocation in$pection report$ and I knew relo companies pay very little (less than 1/2 what I would charge). As a result, the reports were nearly worthless. I don't say totally worthless because the paper the reports were printed on at least had some recycling value. But the meager pay does not inspire an inspector to dig in and give his all.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    I base my prices on the size, age, type, and amenities of a property. From $280.00 to whatever. I might spend
    2 1/2 to 4 hours inspecting a standard 1900 sq ft size 10 year old house. Another 2 + hours on the report and then there's drive time. I'm heavily into pictures and won't do an instant report. All of the competant professional inspectors in our area are within $50.00 of each other on similar properties.
    We now have inspectors in our area offering $175.00 any size property inspections.These guys are in and out in an hour and a half, they have to be to make a living. After 13 years in this business I won't let myself be forced into discount prices for the sake of doing an inspection. I know the value of my work and the protection it gives to my clients. Some may think that the discounters are doing competant inspections but I've been called in to reinspect properties by the attorneys after the dicounters have been sued.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    If someone thinks you are not very good if your not busy or just want a place inspected at a momments notice and can't wait then you need to learn how to spin the reaction to the situation. this is where sales technic comes into play. you have to learn to react and sell what your doing to the buyer of your product, and then do your job the best you can what ever the price is. A sale in hand is worth 2 in the bush, but once you have it then just make sure you keep it. you can play with your sales technic but just don't play with the inspection as that what really counts at the end of the day.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Some points to ponder.

    Home Inspections are like tires, tires are black-round-and they roll. Tires are all the same. HI are all the same??
    You have to sell what makes you and your HI different. That is called sales.

    The quality of your work is based on what you are being paid??

    --You go to see a doctor. After 12.5 min he is now loosing money on the consultation, does he perform at a lower quality level ?
    --You (a patient) are in surgery, scheduled for 50 min and it runs over, what quality of service do you expect?
    --You contracted for me to build a deck. If I spend 1/2 my usual time do you expect less as a customer? If I charge you 1/2 my usual cost do you expect less of a job?

    The person that gets me to lower my price deserves to receive a lesser lesser quality
    job. I will lower my standards because I am being under paid.

    I judge my personal worth (myself) by what I am paid.

    What do you tell your children about performing a task?
    Do the task to the best of your abilities, or to the level of compensation?


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Do the task to the best of your abilities, or to the level of compensation?
    If I agreed to perform an inspection for a low fee, I still need to provide a quality inspection. I agreed to the price structure so I am obligated to perform. If I did not want to do the inspection for that low a fee, then I should not have accepted the job for that fee.

    On occasion I have taken a job for a few dollars lower than my normal fee. There are times I would rather have a few dollars less than no dollars at all. In the current market, shaving $25 to get an inspection is better than sitting at home with no dollars.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Availability isn't necesarily a reflection of your abilities as a HI. More likely reflects your abilities and/or motivations as a marketer. You can be a fantastic HI, but if nobody knows about you, or your prices are exorbitantly high, then your schedule may not be full.

    For those who assume that quality is the public's priority in hiring a HI, and that they don't mind paying a little extra, I guess I need to move to your area. Because that is not the case at all in Texas. Just yesterday, I talked until I was blue in the face about all the value that I offered over this other inspector that this guy was considering, and his first comment was, "He said he'd do it for $xxx. Can you do it for that?" The $xxx was a whopping $9 less than my quote! When people call, their main question -- if not their ONLY question -- is "how much is it?"

    It's nice in theory to say, "I won't do a HI for any less than $xxx", but I have to agree with those who say, "I'd rather charge $25 and work than hold my ground and sit at home." Holding prices firm only seems to work if everyone is doing it, at least in a price shoppers environment.

    Garry...you say you judge your personal worth by what you are paid. So I would assume that you wouldn't be lowering your prices. But since you DO lower your prices ("the person that gets me to lower my price"), that's you that is deciding to lower your personal worth (by lowering your price). Why do you punish your client (without his knowledge) for your decision by giving him a lesser quality inspection? Seems that integrity and honesty (perhaps better measures of personal worth) would dictate that one of two choices be made: don't take the inspection for a lower fee, or tell the client ahead of time that your standards are proportional to what you are paid.

    And "sales" only works if what you're selling (what you perceive as extra value) is something that the client also values. If they don't value what you are offering, then your salesmanship makes little difference.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Randy,
    ....." I judge my personal worth (myself) by what I am paid."....
    Was a rhetorical question. Under points to question about your self.
    Its not my position but one many seem to have.

    Code allows for two stringers for stairs, but three make it a better job.
    SOP allows for a check list report of only the minimum observed, but checking breakers for heat will indicate a possible problem and a better report.
    Both cases require more time and effort that may not be compensated.

    My point being is that any job taken deserves a total commitment and a 100% effort.
    You quote a price and the job requires a lot more time or effort to complete. It does not mean that you cut corners or do a less through job. You just make less per hr that day.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    I quote one price (the price I've calculated to make a profit and it ain't the lowest in town...).

    If no one agrees to pay me that price today, I work on something from yesterday and I look to tomorrow.

    After having developed 3 subdivisions, building over 400 homes and living from 1972 to 2011 in the construction/real estate business if agents and clients pass me up, that's their loss.

    I know what I'm worth and I don't compromise my fee. Period. I usually work every day.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    When a client calls and tries to get a lower price than I normally charge I tell them that I would be more than happy to charge them less than the normal rate - "what section of the report would you like me not to do? Plumbing, heating, electrical, roof??" After a 10 second silence they come back "I want you to do a full inspection" I reply "then it will cost you the stated price" or $50.00 more if you continue to argue. I have been doing it long enough (27 years) that I just don't feel to argue about price! Go ahead and hire the $200.00 inspector, then call me in 6 months to evaluate the problems he missed.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Randy,
    ....." I judge my personal worth (myself) by what I am paid."....
    Was a rhetorical question. Under points to question about your self.
    Its not my position but one many seem to have.

    Code allows for two stringers for stairs, but three make it a better job.
    SOP allows for a check list report of only the minimum observed, but checking breakers for heat will indicate a possible problem and a better report.
    Both cases require more time and effort that may not be compensated.

    My point being is that any job taken deserves a total commitment and a 100% effort.
    You quote a price and the job requires a lot more time or effort to complete. It does not mean that you cut corners or do a less through job. You just make less per hr that day.
    OK, Garry. Sorry about that. I misunderstood what you were trying to convey.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Spot on, Gary Smith!


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I see absolutely no correlation to the price of an inspection to the quality of the inspection.
    It depends. Someone who prices all their inspections for $100 less than the average for the area and running a business has to do a LOT of inspections to pay himself and expenses. The only way to do a LOT of inspections is to do them fast. The other side is perhaps the inspector is working on the side or as a hobby and any money is good money.
    Do they have any kind of insurance? Probably not.
    Do they take continuing education classes or perform other research to keep up with the changes in the building industry? Probably not.
    Are they licensed or certified by a state or locality? Probably not.
    Do they care? Probably not.

    I can only speak for my general area. The people who are "Cheap" around here are also Realtor's darlings.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    This thread reminds me of a story my oldest daughter told me about when she and her husband bought their house. This was when I was thinking about getting into this business, and was asking friends and relatives about their H/I experiences and for copies of their reports.

    She researched inspectors, found one whose website had a well detailed report example, and made the arrangements for the inspection, agreeing to pay $380 for the inspection of their 2,400 sq. ft., 2 story house. She couldn't be there though, but her husband was going to attend instead.

    When the inspector got there, my son-in-law complained about the cost, and talked him down to just $200. For that he got a 1 1/2 hr. inspection, and a 2 page checklist report with 4 hand scribbled comments on it. My daughter got all upset about it again while telling me the story, and the whole episode is still a very touchy topic in their household, even 4 years later.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    He talked the guy down to $200 from an original quoted price of $380??? That HI probably thought..."ok, cut my fee in half, I'll cut my effort in half as well".

    I think the fact stuff like this goes on should really not be a surprise. If people don't feel appreciated whether it be of somebody else's doing or their own doing as a result of setting their fee too low, their effort is going to be commensurate with the level of compensation. Many of us however who choose not to go that low with fees will opt instead not to work at all.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Smith View Post
    I quote one price (the price I've calculated to make a profit and it ain't the lowest in town...).

    If no one agrees to pay me that price today, I work on something from yesterday and I look to tomorrow.

    After having developed 3 subdivisions, building over 400 homes and living from 1972 to 2011 in the construction/real estate business if agents and clients pass me up, that's their loss.

    I know what I'm worth and I don't compromise my fee. Period. I usually work every day.
    And that has lead me to be sitting on my duff quite a bit in the past week and a half.

    I do not have the greatest website but if folks read it they will know who I am and where I came from and pretty much what I am all about. No fluff (could put a lot on there), No hype ( could really blow that up), no free services and give aways (God knows if one were to look at a large portion of the websites around me they will see everything given away. Free alarm inspection (outside company counting windows and doors and getting the clients name to hard sell them) 200% give away ( Like that is going to do the client any damn good especially after they close and signed away all liability from the first inspector that may have missed thousands. The buyer may not see that home until they move in which could be a few weeks to a couple months). Free termite warranty (There we go again. a deductible for treatment is paid if the inspector misses termites. An outside company would come back and do a free spot tretment if it became necessary). Free IR scan Don't that beet all. After the multiple thousands on training and the camera they are giving the service away to get the inspection.) 250 to 275 for everything up to 3000 sf. Inspection alone as low as 175 to 200.

    The reason I brought all that up is because 3 out of 4 potential clients have not even read a site and just got the number to call. After that the folks on the line push all the free crap to them without them digesting it at all and then the 275 for all of it and it is sold.

    In one week I lost over a weeks worth of work.





  38. #38
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Chambers View Post
    This thread reminds me of a story my oldest daughter told me about when she and her husband bought their house. This was when I was thinking about getting into this business, and was asking friends and relatives about their H/I experiences and for copies of their reports.

    She researched inspectors, found one whose website had a well detailed report example, and made the arrangements for the inspection, agreeing to pay $380 for the inspection of their 2,400 sq. ft., 2 story house. She couldn't be there though, but her husband was going to attend instead.

    When the inspector got there, my son-in-law complained about the cost, and talked him down to just $200. For that he got a 1 1/2 hr. inspection, and a 2 page checklist report with 4 hand scribbled comments on it. My daughter got all upset about it again while telling me the story, and the whole episode is still a very touchy topic in their household, even 4 years later.
    Alternate view/explanation.

    The son in-law beat on the HI for 1.5 hours. The HI could not deal with someone who wants to renegotiate at every turn. Being frustrated with this type of person and not being a good negotiator the HI was pissed off and felt that he (the HI) would give what the son in-law wanted/deserved a cut rate and discounted job.

    The daughter wanted to have a good HI an invested her time in research. Which could be equated to dollars. The husband renegotiating the the cost of the inspection demonstrated the husbands lack of respect for the wife and his degrading her value and worth. I would think that this was and still is he husbands view of the wife.

    Ultimately the inspection actually cost the couple much more than what was saved in the negotiating the cost down to $200. The HI ultimately had his pound of flesh. The wife has a husband that does not respect her ability to make a decision and also feels that the wife's verbal agreement with others has no validity.

    If the inspection is still a sore point of contention after years, maybe the problem is not with the inspector or the inspection, but with the marriage. The HI actually performed more of marriage inspection than a home inspection. The wife just has not realized it yet. The wife should have thanked the HI for his marriage counseling session for such a discounted price.

    Home Inspections are like many other service oriented business. People generaly do not understand all that goes into operating a business. Years ago a customer who had not asked about the cost of a job and was upset about the bill when presented. The wife wanted to sit down and discuss the cost, since it was more than she had expected, negotiation time. The wife expressing that the bill was more than she had expected. I explaining what had been done in detail. Knowing that she wanted the bill amount lowered I just said, " I understand that you feel that the cost is more than you expected, so just pay what you feel the true value of what was done and you feel is right." The wife's reply was, "I knew you would say that". Paid the full bill and was happy.

    Most Americans feel that the confrontation of negotiating is to stressful and distasteful. They have not been taught how nor do they really want to learn negotiating. To many internalize the process and just do not put it on a non personal level. As our great sage Kenny Rogers said,"You have to know when to hold them and when to fold them". Having a customer who wants to negotiate terms is a challenge that you should look forward to, since it is an opportunity to demonstrate you worth rather than have it taken for granted.

    It may be that many HI think of them selves as just a mechanic (worker) being paid to do a job. They forget that they are in a business of selling first and working second. Today's economy has heightened the buyer's desire for value for cost. Today's buyer of a service or commodity has a higher level of anxiety that has to be overcome. If someone is making the sale that you couldn't then its time for reflection on the business model being used. Next time you look at purchasing something take an introspective look at how you are making buying decision. Then try to apply that to your business.


  39. #39
    Clifford Mark's Avatar
    Clifford Mark Guest

    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Gary - you said as follows:

    "The person that gets me to lower my price deserves to receive a lesser qualiy job. I will lower my standards because I am being under paid.

    I judge my personal worth (myself) by what I am paid."

    Whoa, baby!!! I think that is a slippery slope you've chosen to traverse. First, if you let yourself get priced downward, that is not the clients fault so how can you justify "penalizing them" with lowered standards. Secondly, to insure I give a consistently thorough inspection on every home, I have certain routines, certain practices and certain habits that don't vary once I'm on the job. In other words, if I decide to take the house at the price agreed to (and 'give away' $100 in the process), I may mutter under my breath in the car on the way to the inspection or call and vent to a fellow inspector but once I'm there, the client has to get my very best or my reputation and my honor and my self worth are eroded and that's not good for me or my business.

    You cannot judge your personal worth by what you are paid only by the job you do. There are just some days (or weeks) when I'd rather work for $295 than stay home for $350, but neither scenario determines my worth. Only my consistency as a professional determines that. I feel strongly about this and hope you'll re-consider your thinking on it, too.


  40. #40
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    If you are wondering what is really driving this down market as far as the pricing .... It is for one the Rea;tors. Number 2 is the Google Maps listing a multitude of inspectors where they do not even have to look at the website to get a number. They just run down the list just as the run down the Realtors List.

    The Realtors have to get completely out of the home inspection business altogether. They have no place in referring any inspector or group of inspectors. The exert their influence, for good or bad, it does not matter. They still have influence.

    If someone is paying your bills as if a small handful of Realtors are giving you all or most of your work. that is influence and what is foremost on your mind whether one wishes to admit it or not is the Realtors thoughts and or open input and appeasing that Realtor or group of Realtors for almost what ever it takes.

    As far as Google maps it is the absolute worse thing that ever happened to the internet. They have 7 or 8 inspectors listed one right after another with the name of the company and their phone number right at hand. They just run down that list after running down the paid list at the top of the page which could be anywhere of one to three paid adds at the top. So, right in front of them there are seven inspectors on that Google list and three paid adds where the folks are no longer reading the website, just calling numbers. "How Much"

    I just, 15 minutes ago, talked to a girl about a new home inspection. In the back ground I heard her husband or boy friend rattling the same questions away to another inspector and then she asked me the same question about "How Much". The man in the background was on his second inspector before I got of the phone with her, who knows how many inspectors they called in a row "I would like to get a quote please"

    The market is slowly being destroyed. Those folks on the bottom of the list are going to crank out the lower prices , almost, no matter what. The end result, the home inspection industry is being pimp out for the lowest dollar.

    The sickening part of it is there are inspectors rolling out of school not standing a chance right now on getting inspection because they are going to be the last on any list, Realtors or Google's. I have just gone thru 2 of the slowest spring weeks I have experienced in years. The absolute only question being put forth is "How Much" and no matter how you attempt to keep them on the phone it is useless. They are going right to the next inspector and "How Much". Their comment is consistently "Well, I have a few more Inspectors to call and I may be getting back to you."

    As far as not being able to sell. Sell what? Price. I consistently ask the folks if they have even read my site and they will say "I'm sorry, which one were you?"

    A little edit here. I sent a letter out to a bunch of inspectors and that was one of my questions "A mechanic gets paid approximately 80 an hour and if the book says it takes 4 hours then you pay the shop 320.00. And you are getting paid how much for 4 hours?" Also "A plumbing company sends a plumber out to fix a leak and it is 100 to 120 for the first hour and 80 to a 100 or more for the next hour and many will figure a price on the half day. At any rate they are getting upwards of 400 for a half a day. And You?"

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 04-21-2011 at 06:43 PM.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    As far as not being able to sell. Sell what? Price. I consistently ask the folks if they have even read my site and they will say "I'm sorry, which one were you?"
    Ted, something to think about is if people are saying this is, then consider making some changes to your website that will help you stand out and make people remember you. I make a big mention on my site that I don't work for realtors, I don't solicit them for business, no conflict of interest promise, independent inspector, etc etc. People remember that and hire me sometimes based solely on what they read, without us ever having a conversation.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  42. #42
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Ted, something to think about is if people are saying this is, then consider making some changes to your website that will help you stand out and make people remember you. I make a big mention on my site that I don't work for realtors, I don't solicit them for business, no conflict of interest promise, independent inspector, etc etc. People remember that and hire me sometimes based solely on what they read, without us ever having a conversation.
    Thanks Nick

    Obviously you have not read my front page. It tells folks flat out that I work for them only and no one can influence me as to my findings and what goes into the report.. They are just going down the list of numbers through Google maps when they do a search for a home inspector. That is the point I am making. If someone calls and says they are on my website right now I close about every inspection. The amount of callers reading websites has diminished drastically.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Ted, I just did a Google search and you are # 4 on the Google maps list. Nothing to be complaining about, IMO. Guys located farther out of town will never even get on the map.

    I feel your pain, they want to hear the price and that's it. No questions about your experience, training, licensing, report content. Just "How much?"

    But if it wasn't for Google maps, some third world lowballer company, Walmart Inspections International, would be getting all the work.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Ted, I read your front page after posting and saw you do mention those things. But the part about working for the client only is more than 1/2 way down the page and tends to blend in with the other info so you have to search for it. Since you know that people only pull up the site and glance at it quickly, maybe getting those things you feel are most important right to the top of the page in big bold letters where they smack the reader in the face and immediately get their attention would help. If people aren't going to spend a lot of time reading, get their attention right away.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Ted,
    "Sell what, price? " In a manor of speaking.
    I was directing selling at the OP of the person calling.

    The concept is to have the client purchase value not price.

    It is a lot about a first time close principal, where you remove the client from the market. Your presentation has to instill in the client the confidence that they are getting the best value for their money. Never sell on price if you actually have value. Present the value that you bring to the equation. There are many techniques in the process of making a sale which have to be learned.

    ((( making an effort shorten my replies )))))


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford Mark View Post
    Gary - you said as follows:

    "The person that gets me to lower my price deserves to receive a lesser qualiy job. I will lower my standards because I am being under paid.

    I judge my personal worth (myself) by what I am paid."

    Whoa, baby!!! I think that is a slippery slope you've chosen to traverse. First, if you let yourself get priced downward, that is not the clients fault so how can you justify "penalizing them" with lowered standards. Secondly, to insure I give a consistently thorough inspection on every home, I have certain routines, certain practices and certain habits that don't vary once I'm on the job. In other words, if I decide to take the house at the price agreed to (and 'give away' $100 in the process), I may mutter under my breath in the car on the way to the inspection or call and vent to a fellow inspector but once I'm there, the client has to get my very best or my reputation and my honor and my self worth are eroded and that's not good for me or my business.

    You cannot judge your personal worth by what you are paid only by the job you do. There are just some days (or weeks) when I'd rather work for $295 than stay home for $350, but neither scenario determines my worth. Only my consistency as a professional determines that. I feel strongly about this and hope you'll re-consider your thinking on it, too.

    Clifford,
    You to missed the the point I was attempting to make. Like Randy.

    ....." I judge my personal worth (myself) by what I am paid."....
    Was a rhetorical question. Under points to question about your self.
    Its not my position but one many seem to have.

    Review what I was saying or what I was attempting to say.


  47. #47
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Well, I can see this is going no where.

    No direct bad remark to anyone but I guess I am not making myself clear. They are not reading the websites at all. They are strictly getting quotes from a list of inspectors. If they read my website or if they are on my website when they call, I get the inspection. My entire posts have explained that it has taken a turn of just going down the list with one thing in mind, a list of names and numbers to get quotes from and they have that right in front of them. You are not turning the folks about anything when the wife is on the phone with her husband on the phone next to her making the same calls and just calling for quotes. When he finishes getting his price he immediately called the net inspector on the list while I was still attempting, even though I heard him doing the same thing, to try to get her to get involved in a conversation and pull up my website in front of her. Of course she could not do that because honey was reading the next inspector off the list from that computer.

    As far as my website it tells clients from the beginning that they are my main concern. I am looking out for them. I continue to explain about foolish give away with promises of not trying to blur the subject with everything else but a home inspection. I tell them further down that there is no one that can interfere with my inspection and what goes into the report about the inspection with the exception of TREC.

    I have no problems with selling to folks. I have been doing it from the age of 18 to 37. So what's that, 39 years? I continually change the website and marketing to fit the days needs. My point about the Google map has become true. We are a commodity. The potential clients get the names and numbers straight off the search pages with out having to go to anyone's website.

    I truly think it is a sad state of affairs that so many (inspectors) find their worth to be so little in a profession like this where you are possibly saving your client thousands upon thousands of dollars or alerting them by simply stating their findings about what a whole to throw money in the house is they have a offer to purchase on. What is even sadder is folks with a retirement come into the profession and give it all away including the price to have a second income.

    Again, 4 hours for a plumber is approximately 320.00 or more. Driving, inspecting, walk through, report, about 4 hours. Mechanic, 4 hours 320, electrician 4 hours 320, handy man around here is in the 60.00 an hour range , 4 hours 240. The inspectors are pricing more toward a handy man than a tradesman. Inspectors around here are giving away warranties for the termite inspection, home inspection, free IR scans, free termite inspections, maintenance books and all for 250 to 275. And that is from folks that have been doing this for years and years. Not just one but several. They are all in a race to the bottom of price and maxing out their give aways.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 04-22-2011 at 11:37 AM.

  48. #48
    Richard Anderson's Avatar
    Richard Anderson Guest

    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    If we start double guessing every call that does not call back, it will take us off our game. I have had customers put in a bid on a house pending an inspection, how long do you think the seller is going to wait when other buyer are at the door?. There are so many reasons why they want you with-in 12 hrs, explain your issue and if they can wait and you can bend a bit thinks will work out, BUT here might be the best way, get to know another Inspector you trust and send the customer to the other Inspector, a matter of fact you should know more then a couple Inspectors in your area, don't be shy, we all have something to offer each other.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Ted,
    Yes you are frustrated and looking for the ultimate answer, I get that.
    Is there a quick answer to your dilemma? No.

    In your example do you get the husband on the line to talk with him. If the couple are just running a list you have to take them away from the list and get them talking with you. Any time you are attempting a sale you have to have all the parties involved in the decision present. In bidding a job I never wanted to just quote a job to a client. I wanted to get all together to make a presentation. If you go to a job and only the wife is there to talk with you and the husband is involved in the decision if only to sign the contract, your close percentage will be significantly lower than when you have both there for the presentation. In a prior life many years ago I would track my sales. when presenting to all parties involved in the purchase I had a close ratios of 72% when I spoke to only one of the persons involved and left a quote my close ratio was 15%. There were times that I was just not able to get everyone to be present and I took the 15% and just accepted that as a fact of life. I did not internalize the rejection I just accepted it and looked for ways to improve my numbers.

    I am not saying that it is easy to take control of the situation on the call that you received, but that is what is needed. You are right in that so Home Inspections have become a commodity to many people.

    At times it is not about the number of years you have been involved in sales. I have had 46 years of sales background and I know that I always could learn something. Selling is a learning process that is ever changing. Look to as many other types of sales to learn from and gleam a new technique or approach. Then use what is right for you. Many techniques that I know I will never use as they are to manipulative.

    Some of the cause for people to price shop is as a direct result of State's SOP and Organization's SOP that create the perceived standard that all HI work from. The public is told that the inspector will perform the inspection to the SOP. That being said, then why should the customer think that there is any difference in one inspector from another? If you are buying an item and the specifications are the same. Then the name of the manufacture is of little importance. At that point it is about emotional differences in the name. Or, if it is the same product (like a Firestone tire) why would you buy it from the higher price supplier? Yes we are in Wallie World where it seems like its all about the lowest price. We will pit one supplier against another to bang out the lowest price, even at a sacrifice.

    The economy is really bad and people react to that by fleeing to the lowest price available. If for no other reason than anxiety of the unknown future. And it will be getting worse before it get better.

    Back to your original question of how to stop people from running a call list to obtain price quotes. How about telling them that the inspection is free an see how fast they will then concentrate on what you are saying. Yes I am being sarcastic. But the idea is to get their full attention. What that takes varies case to case.

    How to combat a list on the internet? Think about that the next time you start searching for a price on something. Then look at all the reasoning you are using on a purchasing decision.


    You said; "I truly think it is a sad state of affairs that so many (inspectors) find their worth to be so little in a profession like this where you are possibly saving your client thousands upon thousands of dollars or alerting them by simply stating their findings about what a whole to throw money in the house is they have a offer to purchase on. What is even sadder is folks with a retirement come into the profession and give it all away including the price to have a second income. "

    This takes us back to the concept of determining personal worth (value) by equating it to what dollar amount you are able obtain. Or, judging others by what they are willing to accept for their work product. Not trying to be judgmental just pragmatic.

    When the real estate market was rolling the idea of making $600 + a day was great. Now with a collapsed market many rather make $500 a week than $00.00 per week. With the idea of hanging on till there is a rebound. It may be all about averaging over time. Averaging sales (income) over a longer time frame. Giving things away as an inducement for the purchase is a long standing methodology to increase/maintain a share in the market. Not good, not bad, just business.


  50. #50
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Openings in Schedule = Bad Inspector???

    Back to your original question of how to stop people from running a call list to obtain price quotes. How about telling them that the inspection is free an see how fast they will then concentrate on what you are saying. Yes I am being sarcastic. But the idea is to get their full attention. What that takes varies case to case.
    I actually use that and others like immediately coming back with " $1,625.14, does that sound fair" It does stop them dead and then you can move on with the matter at hand and talking about and scheduling a home inspection.

    As far as that call. I did jokingly but politely push for the girl to also have the husband call me as well so he can also get a well rounded opinion. You could hear her snicker and then she said that well, he is busy right now (talking to the second inspector that I new of) but she would ask him. I actually called back that evening for follow up and the answer was "Well, we are still in the decision process and will make our minds up in the next few days" You know and I know that the likelihood of taking a few days to pick a home inspector is about 99.9 to 1.

    I heard her husband ask her who it was. She turned her head and whispered "One of the other home inspectors" I guess that "other" could be thought of in several ways but we all know what it meant. They found one for 200.00


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